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Borough council blocked relief road cash, claims Tory

Friday 20th April 2018

THE Liberal Democrat-led administration running Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) stands accused of blocking vital funding to start preparatory work on the Leeds-Langley relief road.

One critic claims funds should have been released via house-builders infrastructure contributions (section 106 money) from the borough council months ago.

Kent County Council spent months persuading MBC that its challenges to the legality of using section 106 cash were groundless.

Conservative KCC member Gary Cooke said: “I do not believe that members of the ruling party at MBC have ever demonstrated a real or credible desire for a relief road – quite the reverse.”

He said the administration is wedded to the notion of “modal shift” and would have preferred to allocate the sums for that purpose.

Kent Police fails to enforce lorry ban through Leeds and Langley - residents' anger

Modal shift is MBC’s answer to the traffic explosion expected from the borough’s scheme for 17,600 new homes by persuading people to take the bus, cycle or walk.

We understand the money has now been released with KCC keen to start as soon as possible.

Experts, commissioned by KCC, will study increased traffic flows, impact assessments and some ground surveys to devise the best set of route options for the link between the A20 and A274.

Jenny Sutton, founder of the pro-relief road WILLact, said: “I welcome any development that comes from both authorities to deliver the relief road that is so badly needed."

MBC was approached for a comment.